Can Italian food can exist without melanzane? Here are a few examples among many others: Eggplant Parmigiana, Pasta ala Norma, Eggplant Caponata, Grilled Eggplant (often served as part of a variety of grilled Mediterranean vegetables drizzled with balsamic vinegar), and of course this month’s recipe Eggplant Involtini.
Before starting on the recipe we should understand what involtini means. Involtini does not necessarily have to be linked to eggplant. Involtini is an Italian word representing various small bites of food consisting of some sort of outer layer wrapped around a filling. The wrapper can be various meats, seafoods or vegetables and the filings can be cheese, vegetables, cured meats and or even nuts. And then of course we can all be confused by the term “rollatini.” Rollatini is not an Italian word. It is an American word created here in America by restauranteurs or in Italian homes, an adaptation of a “a little roll”, as in “roll” and “tiny,” rollatini, and meant to sound Italian.
Involtini could also be confused with preparations like cannelloni (pasta tubes stuffed with a filling piped out of a pastry bag rather than placed at the end of a wrapping material and then rolled up). But essentially all the same type of presentation. A savory filling, a wrapper to contain it, and the sauce. By the way, if you see the word “involto” in the recipe, then it is a “larger” preparation, as in an entrée, rather than finger food or food in bites. Braciole would be considered an “involto” and is an example of beef being used as the wrapper. So now onto our recipe.